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Grade: Middle
Subject: Special Ed

#3286. Themes in Literature - Langston Hughes "Thank You Ma'm"

Special Ed, level: Middle
Posted Thu Nov 18 17:17:38 PST 2004 by William Welch (williamwelch@mindspring.com).
Mulholland Middle School, Van Nuys, CA USA
Materials Required: Prentice Hall silver level reader's companion
Activity Time: 8 days
Concepts Taught: Identifying theme, plot, character's motives

SPED 506 MM
Unit PLAN Date: November 17, 2004
William Welch Eighth Grade English Special Ed

Unit Title: Identifying Themes in Literature

Focus and Framing Questions: What is a theme? What is the plot? How is the plot connected to a theme? Response to Characters: Would I do the same thing? How would I feel if it happened to me? What would life be like without forgiveness and kindness?

Time Needed: Eight class periods of 50 minutes each (minimum).

CSTP Standards: 3: Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning, 4: Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students, 5: Assessing Student Learning.


Learning Objectives: Students will identify and understand the concept of theme within the story "Thank You Ma'am". They will recognize the elements of the plot, examine character's motives and reactions. They will tell a story in first person narrative, as a person ready to cause harm or commit a crime, who receives undeserved kindness instead. They will reflect on how that kindness affects them. They will then demonstrate their understanding of the theme of "Thank you Ma'am", the effects of trust and kindness by writing a reflective personal narrative. They will create a Theme Tree and place drawings of the theme on the tree.

Standards Reference: 3.2 - Evaluate the basic elements of the plot and the way conflicts are (or are not) resolved. 3.5 - Identify and analyze recurrent themes. Writing 2.1 Writing Narratives, 2.2d - Write responses to literature - references to the text. 1.0 Written and oral language presentations. 1.0 Listening and speaking strategies.

Sequence of Daily Activities: Pre-teaching 5 minutes; Explicit Directed Instruction 10 minutes; Check for Understanding, 5 minutes; Guided reading and discussion or group activities 25 minutes; Wrap-up sharing 5 minutes.

Materials: PH Silver Teacher’s Edition, “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes. (Prentice Hall Reader’s Companion, p. 51 and PH text p. 171) Student’s Reader’s Companion, “Finding the Theme” adapted comprehension sheet and PH Literary Analysis and Reading Transparency. p. 25, 26. Selection Support Skills Wk. p. 61-64. Possibly use the PH Motivator video on Langston Hughes.

Adaptive and Supplementary Activities: introduce Langston Hughes. (PH T.ed. p.176) Explain where Harlem is. Show 3-minute video about Langston Hughes and Harlem in the 1920’s to help students understand the background. If the students have difficulty with the urban dialect, ask them for examples of common phrases or expressions that they use and ask them to explain the meaning to you. Read aloud some of the rich dialogue with good expression to help convey meaning for auditory processors. Ask the students to imagine for one minute how it would feel to have their purse or coat or other items snatched by someone. Have them share their ideas. Then ask them to imagine how it would feel to be Roger. What was Roger thinking or feeling when he decided to snatch the purse? What was going through his mind? Use the PH Literary Analysis and Reading Transparency. p. 25, 26. To help focus attention with the guided practice. Have students read aloud one paragraph each for fluency. Use adapted comprehension questions “Plot Details and Strategy Sheet” to focus student attention on Plot and Character’s reactions. Give additional time on homework to selected students. Highlight specific instructions and read aloud instructions on classwork and homework as needed.

Assessment: Based on class participation, homework, oral story telling and narrative essay. Students will write a First Person Narrative as a person who receives undeserved kindness when committing a crime or hurtful act. Students then transcribe the final theme of the story expressed as a sentence onto a 3x5 card and draw a picture relating to the theme (to be used later for a theme tree).

Resources and Sources: Ph Literature, Silver level. Teaching Styles and Strategies, Silver, Hanson, Strong and Schwartz. “Finding the Themes” original adapted material by William Welch.

Unit Plan Evaluation:

"Finding the Themes"
Finding the Theme Date:____________________
adapted material created Name:___________________ Class Period:_____________
by William Welch
A Theme is the lesson or message about life that an author wishes to communicate to the reader
A Theme is usually implied or suggested by showing how characters react to the events,
people and places in the story.
p52
1 Who is the story really about? Roger

2 How does Roger react after Mrs. Jones asked him why he tried to steal her pocketbook?
he tells a lie - "I didn't aim to".

3 Why do you think Roger lied to Mrs. Jones? He was afraid

4 What does Mrs. Jones say when Roger apologizes?
Your face is dirty. I got a mind to wash your
face. Ain't you got nobody at home…?

5 Are you surprised with Mrs. Jones' reaction? Why or why not?

p53
6 Why do you think Mrs. Jones makes Roger wash his face and then eat dinner with her?
She feels sorry/compassion

7 How does Mrs. Jones treat Roger? with kindness

8 Why does Roger try to steal the purse? for blue suede shoes

9 How does Mrs. Jones react to Roger's answer? She says Roger could have just asked her
for the money. He didn't have to steal.

10 How does Roger react to Mrs. Jones' saying that Roger could of just asked her for the money?
A long pause, a very long pause.

11 What is Roger thinking about here (with the pause)? He's surprised and he's thinking what to do.


p54 Re-read the first two paragraphs out loud on page 54.
12 After Roger frowned, what did Mrs. Jones say? Um-hum, you thought I was going to say, but
I didn't snatch other people's pocketbooks.

13 How did Mrs. Jones know what Roger was thinking? She saw his frown and figured it out.

14 Have you ever noticed a look on someone's face and known what they were thinking?
Give an example from your life

15 Now what does Mrs. Jones tell Roger about her life? She has done bad things too.
p. 1
p54
16 Why does Mrs. Jones not watch Roger or watch her purse?
She wants Roger to know she trusts him.

17 Where does Mrs. Jones work? In a beauty shop

18 Do you think she is rich? No

19 Then why did she give Roger $10 to buy shoes? To teach him about kindness

20 What do you think Roger learned from the way Mrs. Jones treated him?
various answers: Kindness and trust can
teach you a lot about life. Or the golden rule:
Treat others the way you want to be treated.

21 How would you like to be treated if you were caught doing something wrong? various

22 What advice did Mrs. Jones give Roger? Do not make this mistake again
behave yourself

23 What lesson about life does this story teach? various see #20

24 Is the story's lesson the same thing as it's theme? yes

25 Make a list of three important events or details that suggest the story's theme.
Detail: various kindness acts
Detail: Roger wanted to say "thank you m'am"
Detail:




SPED 506 MM Unit Plan Details William Welch
Unit on Theme "Thank You Ma'am" P. 1
Objective: Students will identify and understand the concept of theme within the story "Thank You Ma'am". They will recognize the elements of the plot, examine character's motives and reactions. They will write a reflective personal narrative. They will demonstrate their understanding of the theme of "Thank you Ma'am", the effects of trust and kindness. They will tell a story in first person narrative, as a person ready to cause harm or commit a crime, who receives undeserved kindness instead. They will reflect on how that kindness affects them. They will create a Theme Tree and place drawings of the theme on the tree.
Daily detail is in an excel file and not able to be pasted in this file.